Roche's purchase of Spark Therapeutics faces further delay amid scrutiny from US, UK regulators

The US Federal Trade Commission requested additional information and documentary material from Roche and Spark Therapeutics in connection with its review of the companies' pending deal, the drugmakers reported Monday. Roche noted that as a result, its $4.3-billion offer to acquire Spark has been extended from June 14 to the end of July.

Roche and Spark said they "remain committed to the transaction and are working cooperatively and expeditiously with the FTC in connection with its review." Last month, the companies refiled documents related to the deal in order to give the FTC more time to complete its review, noting at the time that the offer period would expire on June 14. The purchase has also faced two prior delays, with an extension made at the start of April and another later that month.

In addition, Roche said Monday that the UK Competition and Markets Authority also opened an investigation into the proposed transaction to determine if it has jurisdiction over the deal. The Swiss drugmaker indicated that the CMA will initially decide if the acquisition may lessen competition in the UK, which would then warrant a more detailed review by the regulator.

Roche noted that the CMA has "issued an interim enforcement order that would become effective upon closing of the transaction and would require Roche to hold separate the Spark business." The companies said they "are working cooperatively with the CMA and will continue to do so."

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